Fashion, The Beach Look, Travel

{The Beach Look} The Essentials

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Happy Summer! I hope everyone has been making the most of it and soaking up the good sunshine! This is the first summer I have chosen to take college classes, and oh, boy! I love history, I love learning about history, but I have never written so much in my life! Work aside, I am enjoying my first summer as a college student.


I’ve been blessed to have already taken 2 beach trips this summer, which is something that is very unusual for me! First trip, my friends and I rented a beach house in Fort Morgan, Alabama. We had a great time! My mom and brother were able to come down for a few days for a little R&R, so we just had a really good, fun trip. Second trip was with Zachary’s family in Cape San Blas, Florida. This being a more private beach than Gulf Shores, we were able to fully relax. (+ do what’s best to do at the beach, nap while you tan!)

While I was packing for these trips, I came to the realization that I generally just threw a bunch of outfits into my bag and hoped it would work. To save you guys the trouble of going through the stress I went through, I’ve put together a simple list to help you get started and be organized while packing for your beach vacation!



{The Beach Look}: The Essentials List

To start off, you need to look for items that are simple and versatile. The goal is to not completely overpack. (guilty!)




Whether you are hanging out by the pool or lounging in the sun, you are going to need swimwear. Even if you never touch water, you should still prepare yourself with an appropriate outfit for your beaching needs.

The amount of swimwear you pack will be based on your personal preference. For example, I know people that will pack only one pair of bikini bottoms and two bikini tops for a one week length vacation. Others bring one suit to wear each day, and even some extras in case they decide they do not want to wear the original few they packed.

I typically pack a few different styles so that I am able to mix and match how I please. Most of the pieces I own are versatile so I can create almost any combination. I will usually pack three to four bikini bottoms, two or three bikini tops, and my two one-piece swim suits. (#onepiecerevival am I right?) You can also pair a one-piece suit with a pair of bottoms for a fun look!

When deciding which suits you are going to bring, the most important thing is to bring what you are most comfortable in. If you feel most confident in a one-piece, then go ahead and wear that. Same way if you love your string bikini and cheeky bottoms, wear it! The only person that should judge what you wear is yourself. Don’t let others dictate how you should dress or look. Be yourself!



Shorts are definitely an essential item in your beach vacation clothes. At the beach during the summer season, pants are typical too hot to wear. Shorts come in handy at breakfast, lunch, and even going out at night!

With the outfit pictured in this post, I have an oversized top tucked into a pair of high-waisted denim shorts with extra-long pockets. I find that denim shorts are an easy pairing and look good with pretty much any top. I generally pack two pairs of denim shorts along on vacation.

While denim shorts are simple and neutral, I recommend that you also pack at least one pair of bottoms that allow personality. Think about adding a pair that have a flair to them, such as a ruffle, floral detail, or bold color.

Jeans and pants are not typically an item you would think about packing when going somewhere tropical and warm, however, I always pack at least one pair of comfortable jeans for days that are not so warm, like when it’s cloudy and rainy.



In my opinion, this essential item should be packed a little more excess than the other items on the list. If you have versatile shorts, pants, or skirts, you can bring the fun game with your tops.

Always pack a tank top or two. They can be worn alone tucked into high-waisted shorts or skirts, or be layered using a sheer top or cardigan. I always pack two casual t-shirts just to wear around the house. I’ll also throw in several tops that are a little more dressy to wear out or to dinner. The oversized top you see pictured is the perfect example. Off the shoulder tops are very popular right now. They allow you to show off your tan shoulders, and stay cool in the breeze.

I recommend that you pack at least one light-weight sweatshirt to wear on cool days, or at night walking on the beach. I packed a thin, black and white striped (duh!) crop hoodie, and it proved to be the perfect piece to wear when traveling home or on late-night walks on the beach.



When packing for a trip and keeping the weight down, it’s all about versatility. That’s what i’ve been (+will be) stressing this entire post. Dresses are perfect for this. With summer dresses you can dress them up and down, all depending on the accessories and shoes you choose to wear with each outfit.

I advise that you pack at least two dresses. I tend to pack more, however, I also like to wear dresses as much as possible. You can choose to keep both simple and solid, or throw in a dress that makes things a little more fun, with tassels, a strappy neck, or even a bold print. I packed three dresses: one with a multi-colored off-the-shoulder tassel fringe, one that featured a lace-up v-neck, and another that was a simple, black and white striped a-line dress.

If you enjoy wearing skirts, pack a nice skirt. Denim skirts are great for summer! They can be paired over a swimsuit or with a crop top for a very summer-y look. If you do not like to wear dresses or skirts, there is also the option to pack playsuits or jumpsuits! They give you the comforting feel of wearing shorts, with the flow-y look of a dress! I always try to pack at least one playsuit when going to the beach.

I recommend that you stick to dresses that are made out of a light-weight fabric so that the heat won’t make you uncomfortable. Choose styles that you feel the most confident in. Nothing is more important than how you feel when wearing an outfit. That is all that matters in the end!




|Stylish, yet comfortable|

That is my motto when packing for vacation. If you do not have any prior plans or intentions to be attending a fancy event, leave the uncomfortable stilettos at home!

The shoes essentials for a beach vacation would be a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of flat sandals, and a pair of heels or wedges. The athletic shoes will give you the comfort while traveling and the accessibility for outdoor adventures, such as hiking, running, or exploring. You will more than likely be sporting a pair of flat sandals the majority of the time while on vacation. They are easy to slip on + off, easy to clean, and pair nicely with looks of all kinds; shorts, pants, dresses, swimsuits, playsuits, jumpsuits.

For dinners or dressier occasions, you’ll want to wear a pair of heels or wedges. A pair of strappy heels or espadrilles are perfect for vacation. They pair well with dresses and even shorts and playsuits.

The most important thing to think about when choosing your vacation shoes is comfort. Make sure they are comfortable to walk in, as well as easy to clean sand off of. No matter how hard you try to keep your shoes clean, sand always find it’s way into your shoes.



Here are a few other essentials you may not necessarily think about when packing for your trip.

Cover-ups. These are essential for every day wear when heading down to the pool or beach. Slip them on over a swim-suit and you have an easy look. I typically only pack one cover-up. I have used the same cover-up for about two or three years now, just because it is a simple, perfect piece that will always look great over a bikini at the beach. (Tagged in slideshow below!) Keep your cover-ups in a light-weight and quick dry material.

Hats and sunglasses. These are not only essential to add to your look, but also for protection. Sunscreen can only do so much when protection your skin and hair from intense sun damage. A baseball cap or oversized sun hat are great choices. Choose based on your personality. Sunglasses can be extremely fun. Stylish-ness aside, you need to make sure you have a pair that are going to actually protect your eyes from the sun rays.

Beach bag. You may not want to ruin a nice, designer purse with sand and salt water. A large tote is the perfect solution. You will need something that is big enough to hold everything- sunscreen, sunglasses, towel, reading material, tanning lotion, etc.- and made out of a material that will not be completely ruined. Choose a bag made out of a straw or netted material. Also, be creative. If you like simple, go for the solid colored bag. If not, choose the neon pink tote with rainbow colored tassels, oversized pom poms, or crazy huge flowers hanging off the sides. Have fun with it!

Accessories. I’m not suggesting that you fully jewel yourself for a trip down to the beach, but a small anklet or string bracelet would make a nice touch. Once again, have fun with it! I found the perfect anklet with a sea turtle + pearl combo.




Hope you are all enjoyed this post and that it helps a few of you packing stressers (myself included!) out there. Enjoy your summer. Stay safe. Stay free. Below is a slideshow of some snap shots taken on my vacation.



As always,

stay blessed + fabulous


-A. Ivey

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  • Reply
    June 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Great list! I always seem to forget something, so it’s nice to have a list to refer to 🙂

  • Reply
    Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
    June 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I want that little grey dress for my daughter. Where did you get it?

    • Reply
      Ashlyn Ivey Boyd
      June 24, 2017 at 11:54 am

      I found it at a local boutique! Their name is Lulie Bugs (In McCalla, AL) + they mainly just operate through store so you might have to call and ask! Their number is (205)760-5544! Also, i know it doesn’t show up like this in the picture, but the dress color is a dull blue-grey, just for reference when describing to them what dress you’re looking for!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2017 at 11:32 am

    You are precious!! Love these photos. Such great essentials. That anklet is precious.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Great list babe! I love your bathing suit!

  • Reply
    {The Beach Look} POM POM + FRINGE EARRINGS STYLE – Blessed and Fabulous
    June 26, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    […] who are new to my site, this is the second post in my {The Beach Look} series!! In the first post, Beach Essentials,  I put together a list to help you all plan what you will be packing for a beach vacation. I […]

  • Reply
    Jessica J
    July 11, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    This will be very helpful to me as I pack to head to the Bahamas next week! Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

    • Reply
      Ashlyn Ivey Boyd
      July 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Great, Jessica! Thank you! I hope you have a great trip!

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